Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The 2023 season was one of Mookie Betts’ best years to date as he finished as a finalist for the National League MVP Award and received recognition from MLB.
Betts got off to a slow start by his standards, but his production increased back to superstar levels in May and took another step forward in June that carried into July.
He finished the first half of the season hitting a strong .274/.379/.586 with a 157 wRC+ and 26 home runs across 86 games.
But there was still more to come for Betts. In August, he posted historic results and led the Dodgers to a 24-5 record, which resulted in him winning player of the month honors.
Betts hit .455/.516/.839 with 10 doubles, 11 home runs, 30 RBI, a .562 wOBA and 265 wRC+ while appearing in 28 of the Dodgers’ 29 games during August. He set Los Angeles franchise records with 35 runs scored and 51 total hits.
Betts became just the third player in MLB history since 1900 to have a minimum of a .450 batting average along with 50 hits and 10 home runs in a calendar month. He joined Babe Ruth (July 1923, 1924) and Lou Gehrig (June 1930).
Betts cooled off in September, which significantly hurt his chances at winning the MVP Award, but still finished the second half hitting .347/.448/.570 with a 180 wRC+.
Overall, Betts hit .307/.408/.579/ with 40 doubles, 39 home runs, 107 RBI, 14 stolen bases, 126 runs scored and a 167 wRC+.
He finished among the top three in the NL in wRC+, OPS+ (163), doubles, slugging percentage, on-base plus slugging (.987) and extra-base hits (80), and he set a new MLB record for most RBI out of the leadoff spot.
His 39 home runs also set a new career high, which previously was the 35 he hit during the 2022 season.
After the season, Betts finished second in MVP voting, but he was named to the All-MLB First Team and won his sixth Silver Slugger Award as an outfielder.
Although his recognition came as an outfielder, Betts spent much of his 2023 season on the infield dirt, appearing in 70 games at second base and 16 at shortstop.
That earned him recognition as the 2023 multi-position Fielding Bible Award winner. It was the sixth time Betts has won a Fielding Bible, which tied Yadier Molina and Andrelton Simmons for the record.
His defensive versatility also earned him continuous praise from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
Although the Dodgers had a disappointing end to the season as Betts went hitless in the postseason and they were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL Division Series, the 2023 season still proved to be a memorable one for Betts.
Mookie Betts 2023 highlight
Betts had numerous highlights throughout the 2023 season, but two games stood out the most.
On August 23 against the Cleveland Guardians, Betts went 5-for-5 with a double and two RBI, giving him his most hits in a single game during the year.
On June 30 against the Kansas City Royals, he went 4-for-6 with two home runs, a double and also took two walks. During that game, he scored three runs and drove in four.
Betts is once again slated to lead a powerful Dodgers’ lineup in 2024 that has added Shohei Ohtani and Teoscar Hernández to the mix, which gives him a chance to set his new career high in runs scored (135 in 2019).
He is also set to take over as the Dodgers full-time second baseman, which the Dodgers hope will help keep him rested and healthy throughout the year.
Betts should once again be one of the best players in baseball during the 2024 season, and the main question is what awards will he end up winning.
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